Sexual abuse statistics reveal that this is a significant public health problem in the United States.
Experiencing sexual abuse can affect how a person thinks, acts, and feels over a lifetime. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this type of mistreatment and numerous resources out there for healing.
Sexual abuse is a rampant problem spanning our nation. Understanding its severity can enable people to act and make an ongoing difference. Here are a few unsettling sexual abuse statistics that currently plague our country:
- An American is sexually abused every 73 seconds.
- From 2009-2013, Child Protective Services concluded that 63,000 children were abused each year.
- 66 percent of minor victims are between the ages of 12 and 17, and 33 percent are under the age of 12.
- 55 percent of sexual assaults happen at or near the victim’s home.
- Authorities respond to a report of child sexual abuse every nine minutes.
Warning Signs in Young Children and Adolescents
Considering the gravity of these horrifying numbers, everyone must be able to recognize the warning signs of sexual assault in young children and adolescents.
Warning signs in young children:
- Not speaking as much as normal
- Overly compliant behavior
- Exceedingly worrisome
- Unexplained health problems
- Avoiding removing clothes, such as to take a bath
- Regressive behaviors, such as thumb sucking or bedwetting
Warning signs in adolescents:
- Having extensive knowledge about sexual topics
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Sexual promiscuity
- Running away from home
- Depression and anxiety
Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list. If anything feels off while interacting with a child, pay attention to that feeling and look into it further.
Sexual Abuse Prevention
Stop It Now is an organization that aims to prevent sexual exploitation by mobilizing adults to take actions that protect children before they are harmed. They share an endless amount of helpful tips and resources for sexual abuse prevention, including:
- Create a safety plan for your loved ones to follow if they ever find themselves in an abusive situation. Here are the key aspects of a family safety plan:
- Educate the entire family on warning signs and what healthy sexual development is.
- Have clear and open communication.
- Set well-defined familial boundaries.
- Involve safe adults that children feel comfortable talking with.
- Become familiar with local resources.
- Have the courage to reach out for help.
- Speak up and have open dialogue when you suspect mistreatment.
- Learn about what makes a child vulnerable to exploitation and be aware of these factors.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual abuse, several beneficial resources can help you on your path to healing. First, you can call the sexual assault hotline at 800-656-4673 any time; they are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, many websites share excellent resources, including:
- Public Health
- SAMHSA Mental Health Services Locator
- Stop It Now
- National Sexual Violence Resource Center
Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Can Help
Sexual abuse statistics prove that this problem is severe and ongoing. At Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton, we know how difficult it is to come forward and pursue a case against another individual after sexual assault. Our legal team also understands the importance of having compassionate, personalized attention on your side during this difficult time. Our professional sexual abuse attorneys can help hold those who hurt you accountable for their actions.
We have offices in Orem, Provo, Saratoga Springs, and West Jordan, Utah. Reach out for your free case evaluation today.